In a statement issued on 20 May 2023, Sudan’s Council of Churches condemned ongoing attacks by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) against churches of various Christian sects in Khartoum. The statement said that the RSF seize the churches and use them as operation centres to run their military actions.
The churches attacked by the RSF, the statement said, were the Coptic Orthodox bishopric churches of Mar-Girgis (St George) and the Holy Virgin; also the Coptic church of Mar-Girgis in Bahari. The Anglican Episcopate church was also attacked, as was the Evangelical church.
In all the attacks, the RSF militias broke through the church gates and doors, looted all the belongings and vehicles, all the while terrorising, beating up, or shooting those present, forcing them to evacuate the building regardless of injuries sustained or medical care needed.
Watani reported on the attack on the bishopric church of Mar-Girgis
The statement concluded with an appeal by Sudan’s Council of Churches to humanitarian and human rights organisations to condemn these violations.
On another note, the Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Khartoum and the Southern State, Anba Eliya, wrote a spiritual message of assurance and encouragement to his congregation, especially given that they have been posting messages on social media voicing their sense of abandonment and fear.
Anba Eliya said that suffering and tribulation are not new to Christians, and encouraged the congregation to endure it without complaint, exercising courage and patience with God’s grace. “We are the children of the confessors and martyrs,” he wrote. “They endured harsh tribulation but never reproached God; rather, they honoured the teaching of Christ to love their enemies. It grieves me to see posts of grumbling against God, because we thus lose our forefathers’ greatness and sadden the heart of Christ who endured so much on the Cross for our sake.
“My beloved, let us forego the spirit of protest, and instead purchase the wisdom and eternal peace gifted to us by the Lord.
“May God take care of you and bless Sudan.”
22 May 2023
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